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Coco Chanel was a well-known French fashion designer as well as a successful business woman during the periods of the world war one era. Being a talented and creative woman in fashion and style, Coco took part in the generation of trendy and acceptable women clothing (Felsted, 2015. n.p). Nonetheless, her outstanding sense of fashion shined in other areas like handbags, jewelry, and fragrance despite her poor educational background. Today, Gabrielle is remembered for her rebellion through style. She engineered the breakdown of the barriers that clouded the women world of fashion. Coco is an icon in the liberation of women fashion during her era. In the fashion industry, the designer was the first person to view style as both casual and classic. Her ambition, determination and hard work reflect on the connections she managed to attain and also the works that she achieved. According to her, she believed that fashion fades and style endure forever.
Gabrielle Bonheur Chanel also was known as Coco Chanel was a French female fashion designer. She was born in the eighth month of 1883 in Saumur, France by her unwed parents Albert Chanel and his girlfriend Eugenie Jeanne Devolle who later got married several years after Gabrielle was born. She was the family’s second born. Gabrielle grew up in a humble family background most of which she never wanted to share. The family never had a permanent place to live. They lived as nomads moving from one market town to another. Her father was a street vendor while her mother was a laundrywoman in a charity hospital that was owned by the Sisters of Providence.
Coco Chanel learned sewing arts for six years at Aubazine Orphanage shelter where she was taken by her father after her mother’s sudden death and later got herself a job as a seamstress. Moreover, she also took part in singing in a cabaret. The cabaret was frequented by cavalry officers, and that’s where the name “Coco” originated from as she liked singing “Qui Qu’a Vu Coco”; a famous song during that period. Driven by money, Coco met Etienne Balsan in 1905; a wealthy young man. She took full advantage of her new life reading novels and lying on the bed until noon. Later, she met Balsan friend. An English polo player called Aurther Edward. Edward advised and promised to offer financial support to her in opening a vending hat shop. In the year 1910, Coco Chanel broke up with Etienne Balsan (Hess, 2015, pg. 58). She decided to move in and live with Captain ‘boy’ Capel. In the same year, Chanel managed to be a licensed hat maker, and she opened Chanel Modes her first boutique in Paris.
Motivated to make women clothing, Gabrielle started sewing dresses and sportswear of jersey fabric at a boutique she opened at Deauville. Jersey fabric had only been used for men’s underwear during such era. The sales she made from selling casual clothes and sportswear saw the boutique becoming very successful. It was Chanel’s initial breakthrough.
Career, Styles and Major Works
Despite the unpleasant life that Coco had at the Aubazine training as a sewer, she managed to stay for six years which she completed and earned herself a job as a seamstress. In her free time, the fashion icon participated in singing at the cabaret. Later, she moved to Vichy where she tried stage performance which never worked so well for her, so she moved to Moulins.
Chanel’s determination in fashion and design emerged after her love affair with Etienne’s friend Arthur Edward. Arthur became the ladder towards generation of Coco’s first boutique shop. As a licensed hat maker, she opened her first boutique shop in Paris. She called it Chanel Modes which saw the street being linked to Chanel’s name for half a century. Through Arthur’s help, later in 1913 (Astrum People, 2018, n.p), Chanel opened her boutique in Deauville. The boutique attracted regular clients that motivated Coco to make women clothing. She made women clothing from an ordinary jersey fabric. The jersey was Chanel’s first outstanding creation through its embracement did not take place immediately. However, during the war, women’s preference for the style escalated as women took part in the workforce (Garelick, 2015, pg. 343). The technique helped in the complete cover of women bodies allowing them to participate in physical labor effectively. Her success at Deauville inspired her to open another similar in Biaritzz in 1915 which subsequently generated a lot of capital to her. Later in 1919, Coco attained full registration as a couturier. As a registered couturier, Coco established her Maison de Couture at 31 Rue Cambon. The establishment was strategic as it was in the most fashionable districts of Paris. Her business flourished and by 1935, her employees could count to about four thousand (Riot, 2013, pg. 85).
Initially, before Coco, the fashion industry was flooded by men outfits. Men dominated the fashion business. Through Chanel’s creativity, she managed to alter men’s clothing and transform them in a way that women found so pleasing. Notably, before Coco, women never won men outfits. She also managed to fix the socially criticized hats that caused an array of issues in the society. The large caps were reduced to smaller sizes allowing Chanel a smooth sail against social rebellion. Another critical Coco’s creation and the invention is the little black dress. According to Coco, she argues that her motivation was to produce female clothing that was appropriate for any occasion and that can be won by any class. She managed to generate a suit that blended the lower-class individuals with the wealthy (PR Newswire, 2014, n.p). It was fit for both funerals and weddings.
Coco’s Career Achievements
In her career line, Coco founded the Chanel No. 5 Perfume. The perfume resulted due to her work with a Russian perfumer, Ernest Beaux. A perfume that she chose owing to her belief that number five is her lucky number (Rubin, 2018, pg. 72). Coco also founded the iconic Chanel bag which was also known as ‘2.55’. The iconic bag was made for women, and its praise and preference in the late 50s earned the fashion icon a lot of fortune. Her business logo appeared in most products manufactured by her companies. Moreover, the famous ‘Chanel Suit’ that was made explicitly for women instilled the women with the courage to pursue their goals in the professional fields that they were taking (Dymoke, 2015, pg. 22).
As a designer, Coco earned so much respect in various countries. She is an inspiration to many people both in the fashion industry and other sectors. Her motivational quotes uplift many souls. Also, Coco’s story is so inspiring, coming from a humble background to a net worth of $15 billion is a significant show of determination and hard work. Moreover, it is her determination, focus and hard work that made her feature on the Time magazine. During that time, Coco was listed as one of the 100 most influential people of the 20th century.
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